Over the past few days there have been several M class flares occurring that have been earth directed. However beginning early this morning we have had 2 X-class flares and these have been very significant.
The first: A major X-Class solar flare peaking at X1.7 was observed around new Sunspot 1882 this morning at 08:01 UTC. The event was associated with Type II and Type IV sweep frequency events, along with a 10cm Radio Burst (TenFlare) lasting 24 minutes and measuring 610 solar flux units (SFU). A bright coronal mass ejection (CME) is now visible in the latest LASCO imagery. Because of the location near the limb, a majority of the plasma cloud will be directed away from Earth. More updates to follow regarding a possible Earth directed component.
A bright coronal mass ejection (CME) is now seen emerging following the X2.1 event. Sunspot 1882 is still not in the best position for Earth directed plasma clouds, but that will change in the days ahead as it rotates into a more direct view. More updates to follow regarding this event should there be an Earth directed component.
The second: Sunspot 1882 now in view off the southeast limb produced the second X-Class flare of the day. The latest major event at 15:03 UTC peaked at X2.1. A strong radio blackout was observed on the sunlit side of Earth. While listening to the 10 meter (28mhz) amateur radio band, signals went from very strong to almost nothing in a matter of minutes. Signals did start to recover after about 15 minutes. A coronal mass ejection (CME) is likely.
These are very significant and could cause major disruption in communications, satellite traffic, etc. Sunspot 1882 is still rotating into view and given the vigorous activity, the situation bears close watching for the next 48-72 hours. More when we have further updates. As always, you can monitor this activity at www.solarham.net.